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Saving Money on Toiletries

A large portion of our grocery budgets go to non grocery personal care items. How do you save money on toiletries like shampoo, soap, lotion and other personal care products? Here are tips from the ThriftyFun community.


Shop Smart and Make Your Own

I buy toothbrushes (of good quality, which is not the same as expensive!) in bulk, in packs of six. I make my own soap, for only a dollar or two you can make enough soap to last at least a year!

I also keep an eye out for sales and stock up when I find a good deal. Ever since I moved to my own place six years ago, I've always had about a year's supply of toothpaste and shampoo at home. Even if you live in a small place, it's easy to store.

By Haushinka

Try The Dollar Store

I shop at the dollar stores where you can find great deals on many of the products. If you don't have time to make your own, this store is great. You can pick up packs of 6 tooth brushes, you can pick up soap, shampoo, conditioner and more. So, if you have one in your area, check it out, you will be amazed at what you can find. Heck, a dollar for a bottle of shampoo is a pretty good deal.


Then again, if you check with a bunch of the product manufacturers, you can find them online, they sometimes have coupons on their websites. Or you can e-mail them and sometimes, they will send you some.

By TxBluEyes

Dollar Tree

Try Dollar Tree if there is one in your area. Depending on what lots they get, I've been able to find Dove there. I've also found Dial "Basic", three bars for a buck. I also found Pears soap, Jergen's basic soap as well as Dial 3 packs. They also carry Lady Speed Stick for a dollar. I mean, if you're not stuck on any certain brand of shampoo/conditioner/body wash, you can find copies of it at Dollar Tree as well.

They do have copies of Dove Oil Cream Wash, moisturizing body wash as well as other things. I've bought makeup there, it was "LA Colors". It's not the absolute best I've used, but the mascara and eyeshadow do in a pinch. Sometimes I've found Cover Girl lip gloss, "Clean" foundation and blush. In these days of jobs and money being few and far in between, I'm more than happy to sacrifice a few dollars here and there to pay my bills. It's really not that important to have top of the line, brand name everything.


This recession really has made me re-think my spending on personal expenditures. I use coupons as well and look for sales in the paper and fliers. It really does pay to use the freebie sites online as well.

By Meggan

Use Coupons

Yesterday, I bought Cottonell toilet paper, and 4 Johnson and Johnson Buddies soaps for .28 cents. All of these items were .99 cents each. I had two $2 coupons for the soaps and a .50 cent coupon for the TP which was then doubled. I just clip the coupons in the paper and print coupons from the internet. When the items are on sale in the fliers, I take the fliers to Walmart and they price match what the other stores are charging for the product. I also go store to store to get the same deals when I have multiple coupons and the prices are the same.


Today I'm going to get some St Ives Lotion. I found a $2 off coupon and it's on sale at CVS for $2.99. I will get it for $.99 cents! Cheap! I also sign up for FREE samples at and They both offer a lot of toiletries. Also You can also go to individual sites and get free samples directly from the manufacturer. I love FREEBIES!

By Jessica

Double Coupons

I am a big fan of double coupons. I get beauty products for less than a dollar at the grocers. How? If shampoo goes on sale for $2.75 and you have a $1.00 coupon, doubled it becomes $2.00 off. I used to go to the dollar store but I would rather pay less for name brands!

By Starchild in VT

Stock Up on Your Favorite Brands

If there is a particular brand I like, I stock up when it's on offer or BOGOF (buy one get one free). I use a special brand of volumizing shampoo which is more expensive but offset this by doing the '1st wash' with a cheap shampoo then I just need a spot of the good shampoo to follow!


By Skinnyjinny

Shop Around

I buy in large quantities and keep an eye on the penny saver ads in the paper. It pays to shop around and compare prices between products. The big shots are paid well to make that bottle of shampoo look attractive, and when you read the label you will see it is made by the same company that makes your other no-name brand.

Don't let them catch you with your pants down, as my Grandmother would say! Bulk is cheaper for the company to produce therefore it saves you money.

By Dedeswrkshop

Just Add Water

I dilute my shampoo and conditioner, especially when my children are home! They (and sometimes I) seem to think that a handful of each is required! This helps a lot!

By Glenn'sMom

Don't Buy Cheap Shampoos

Whatever you do, don't use cheap shampoos. These can be sold so cheap because they have a lot of wax in them. They film your hair! If you have been using them, find a good clarifying shampoo to use for a while. Now you know why they can be sold so cheap. Good luck.


By Canlady

Walgreen's FAR Specials

I take advantage of the Walgreen's FAR specials when they have them and stock up. I sometimes combine them with coupons as well if I have coupons for the items on sale. I've just now run out of FAR toothpaste and I hadn't bought toothpaste or toothbrushes for over a year!

Minimize the Amount You Use

The commercials try to convince you to cover your toothbrush with their toothpaste. A pea-sized amount is all that's needed to get the job done! Also, I find that using a pump on my shampoo container gives the perfect (and small) amount of shampoo in my hand.

By Premies2

Rebates for Free Products

Whenever items are free after rebate at CVS or Rite-Aid I buy them. I used to clip coupons like crazy, and could always find items in the clearance bin that were free after coupon. Dollar General and Family Dollar take coupons. I have honestly not paid money for toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, room spray, band-aids, and mouthwash. I also get great deals on shampoo, conditioner, stylers, baby products etc; this way as well.

Buy Toiletry Gift Baskets

Now is gift basket "time". Gift baskets are 75%-90% off at your local department stores. For example: Big Lots has HUGE sales on bath baskets right now. Baskets are filled with lotion, shower gel, candles, beauty tools, hand soap and the underused bath salts and bubbles. $1.80-$4.00 for a huge basket! Please check it out!

By Starchild in VT

Bent and Dent Stores

We have a "dent" store here and we can get name brand items like Tim's toothpaste for $1.99, Eucerine face cream for $2.79, Physician's Formula makeup for $1.99. I stock up on these items when I find them, hence my linen closet looks like a store, but I'm set with 6 month to a year supply. It's stuff I would have bought anyway at CVS or walmart, for full price.

By Katluvsbears

Baking Soda for Clean Teeth

Use soda for cleaning teeth, the kind that has no aluminum. It also whitens teeth, and sweetens your breath.

By beautiful1234

Frugal Tips for Using Every Bit

On things that come in a tube: When you think you have squeezed it all out, cut off tube about an inch back from the shoulder and scoop out what's left. I can brush my teeth for a week on what is still in there!

By DeBushe

Don't Shampoo Every Day

If you happen to have dry coarse hair, your hair will actually be softer and more manageable if you don't shampoo it every day. Take your regular shower but just wet your hair instead, adding much-needed moisture. Some people can go as long as a week - and their hair looks better for doing that! But even just every other day saves money. I agree with not using the cheap shampoos, and this helps you use a good shampoo while saving money.

By Loradelrio6

Use Pump Bottles

I put my shampoo, conditioner, lotions, body wash, dish soap, and hand soap all in pump bottles. One pump of each is all that is needed and it saves a lot. If I buy something that isn't in a pump, it goes in the pump I always have on hand.

By Deanna1949

Buying and Using Toiletries

I don't put my toiletries, paper products or cleaning products in my grocery budget (or pet food as many do). I limit my grocery budget to items that the family eats!

The majority of my shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste that we use we get free. I use coupons in combination with sales at CVS and Walgreen. These two stores also let you combine their store coupons with product coupons. The combination most often ends up in a free product. To do this, you need to stock up when you can, and not be brand loyal. Some dollar stores also take coupons.

If no size is mentioned on your coupon, buy the smallest size. Check Walmart for the trial size aisle, sometimes they have small sized toothpaste for 50 cents and if you have a 50 cent off coupon, you get it free. Don't be afraid to use generic items either, or those from Aldi at 1/3 of the price. Also go to and sign up for the free samples.

I make my own laundry and dish soap. For under $6 I can make a years supply. Save your soap slivers, put them in a knee high stocking or make a washcloth pocket. Use the slivers till they are gone. Many people throw them away when they get little, wasting money.

Only use conditioner on the ends of your hair, not the scalp. Use less shampoo and soap. It only takes a little dab of toothpaste.

By Mom-from-missouri

Post your own ideas here.

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January 30, 20090 found this helpful

There are so many ways I save here - (1) I do shop dollar stores & often there are good brands there - which I stock up on - or good generic products which I first try out before stocking up. It's better to buy in quantity here because the supply of the items may be limited and disappear quickly (2) I look for sales areas in drug stores for any good deals in items from vitamins to makeup to cologne (3) Ditto for supermarket sales areas (4) I look for deals at other discount outlets such as Big Lots where I snagged some Revlon makeup products very cheaply or (5) the toiletries areas at places like T. J. Maxx or similar discount stores. (6) There are also good deals online at discount beauty sites. (7) I also watch for sales at online sites such as Avon for bargains. Again - buy when the prices are good and stockpile your basic items when you can. I still have colored shampoo and conditioner I bought at the 99 Cent store over 2 years ago - as well as other items which I just slowly use up. Pay $8 for a bottle of colored conditioner? Not if I can help it!

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January 31, 20090 found this helpful

I only wash my hair once a week which saves tons on shampoo and my hairdresser says it's better for your hair. I get my hair coloured and only have to get it done every 4 months. Cheap shampoos and conditioners leave my hair greasy so I purchase mostly salon brand stuff on sale for about $3 at Liquidation World. I also use Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap (very diluted), to make bath & body wash and use it for other things too (cleaning, hand soap...) I make my own foot & body scrubs with sea salt and oil with essential oils (much cheaper than buying them!) I also make handmade soap, which is what I use most of the time. I try to purchase make up at the dollarstore or a bargain store. I also stock up when I see good sales, right now I have enough shampoo and conditioner for at least a year!!

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 31, 20090 found this helpful

Use the cheap shampoo for body wash dilute with water!

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January 31, 20090 found this helpful

We save a fortune on deodorant by using the crystal ones. I would have said no way 5 yrs ago but now I won't use anything else. I hit upon it when searching for something my husband wouldn't be allergic to. One of them lasts 36-48 months, so if it looks more expensive at first consider it in terms of what a two yr supply of your current deodorant would cost. And while I didn't believe it til I tried it, it really works - no stink!

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January 31, 20090 found this helpful

I buy bars of soap & the minute I get home, I unwrap each bar & store them in a basket in the bathroom cabinet. The air drys them out & they are never soft when I use them. The soap works just the same & the bar will last much longer. I've used soap like this for 40 yrs. I change my toothbrush every 3 months but my dentist always gives me a new one at my 6 month checkup so I only buy 2 a year. My daughter just told me her hairdresser says change brands of hair shampoo after using 2 bottles of the same brand.

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February 1, 20090 found this helpful

Another way to save is to find other uses for products that you try and don't like... for example, if you try a new shampoo and find it doesn't work well for your hair, use it as body wash or hand soap. Conditioner is excellent for shaving your legs and underarms. Bar soaps can be melted in water and used for hand soap.

I started a "share box" at work, where people can bring in products that they have but don't like or are not using, and take items that other people have left. We keep the box on the shelf in the staff bathroom. It's been a big hit! I think I may start adding coupons to the mix, as well.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 2, 20090 found this helpful

I do believe that in the past 6-7 years I have not spent one cent on Toothpaste, Deodorant or Shampoo. Double coupons are always in my grocery story and occasionally they have triple coupons. I may not always be loyal to the same brand, but free is free!

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February 5, 20090 found this helpful

I use Suave Hair Products, they are great quality and cost less than name brands.

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